Ron was invited to be the head judge a few weeks ago for the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience for their “Big Gateaux” Cake Competition. And lets just say we had a blast!
I have never visited New Orleans before; can I just say what a wonderful city it is? The people are hospitable and proud of their heritage. While Ron was working, doing his judging thing, I was taking in the sights and sounds of this fantastic little city. The inspirations alone here can decorate a thousand cakes! The colors and textures all around are a wonderful source for décor; it was great walking around to take pictures of it all. (I will post these pics in another post…)
But the real reason we were invited down to this festival was for the “Big Gateaux Show”, a cake competition that was completed over a two-day period. There were two parts to this competition – your showpiece, which was Styrofoam covered in sugar and taste. You were allowed to bring one ingredient for your cake tasting and one of the rules was the cake had to include chocolate. (There were other rules too, I just don’t remember what they were…sorry!) The bakery talent was from all parts of North America and what talent!
Of course we can’t forget the judges. Joining Ron at the judges table: Chris Hanmer owner of the School of Pastry Design in Las Vegas and winner of Top Chef Just Desserts Season 2, Lee Schrager, Vice President of Southern Wine & Spirits and mastermind behind the South Beach Food & Wine Festival and the lovely Denis Mickelesn, Senior Editor of Fine Cooking Magazine.
The inspiration for the contestant’s cakes? Burlesque dancers of course! We were down in New Orleans after all. All four dancers who were the inspirations for these cakes and wowed the audience with their fantastic dancing.
It was a really great event and everyone had a wonderful time. It was definitely a night to remember and all of the contestants worked so hard on their showpieces.